The Way of Divine Union by A. E. Waite (Ed. R.A. Gilbert)

Publisher, Imagier Publishing, Bristol, 2020
Hardback, with dust-jacket, pp xiv + 331 + portrait of A.E. Waite
Bound in dark-red book-cloth, sewn sections, gilt to spine and front cover.
Condition, New!

First published in 1915, it remains one of the finest explorations of Mystical Experience ever written in the English language.

This new edition, has updated notes and an informative introduction by R.A. Gilbert, the editor of this edition and biographer of A.E. Waite. (see A.E. Waite, Magician of Many Parts by R.A. Gilbert)).




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In The Way of Divine Union, A.E. Waite, describes the exalted nature of the goal of the mystic, and of our limited capacity for attaining it. ‘It is understood’, he noted, ‘that the ineffable union which is the end of mystic life is the integration of the self-knowing spirit of man in the eternally Self-Knowing God, knowing and being known therein. This is the attainment of God, and it is the great work . . . for those who are called thereto, but it is not completed here.’ Also, such attainment here and now, ‘is possible for brief periods only … So far as it is possible to discern, the absolute union of our higher consciousness’.

In other words, when we experience such an exalted state we must return to this earthly life – and with a price to pay. He write elsewhere, “There is a state beyond the images, a repose of inward being, apart from action in the mind. …. When it is entered there is no sense of beginning, middle or end, for the state is timeless. It is only on coming out therefrom that the external correspondence in event is found to be exceedingly short. . . . The state is not entered and one does not come out therefrom: we are simply in it and subsequently we are not in it, but amidst a terrible experience of lost beatitude in reality”.

Arthur Edward Waite was born in 1857, Brooklyn, New York. He was a poet and scholarly mystic who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters, and was the co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. Waite joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in January 1891. He became a Freemason in 1901, and entered the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia in 1902. In 1903 he founded the Independent and Rectified Order R. R. et A. C. He wrote occult texts on subjects including divination, esotericism, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, and ceremonial magic, Kabbalism and alchemy. However, The Way of Divine Union is his masterpiece!

Additional information

Weight .9 kg

2 reviews for The Way of Divine Union by A. E. Waite (Ed. R.A. Gilbert)

  1. Marcus

    One of the finest books I have read on Christian mysticism, it opens doors of the soul that so many fail to see. It is Waite’s Magnum Opus,

  2. Rev. L. Rimmer (verified owner)

    A Review of: The Way of Divine Union by AE Waite. (5 Stars)
    It was a great privilege to have been invited to assist in proof reading this edition of AE Waite’s marvellously inspiring book, The Way of Divine Union. As books on the esoteric and mystical go, what an absolute treasure! Every page filled to the brim and quietly overflowing much like a fully laden honey-comb with sacred mystical symbolism!
    So why do I regard it a treasure? Well for one thing, Waite has done to an immense degree a profound level of research, reflection, meditation and I would argue, contemplation of the key resources available to students of the western mystery tradition. Much as one might love to read, study, reflect upon philosophical and mystical writings within this western mystery tradition as well as fully engage in its various disciplines, our 21st century way of life simply cannot allow for this. Hence, I greatly appreciate Waite’s labours, standing as he intimates frequently upon the shoulders of giants.
    Allusions are made time and again to many key spiritual works, insights and ideas through choice phrases he borrows and recasts in his own style. Yes, he is extremely wordy, yet to my heart, hardly an utterance is wasted. So many hints, so many suggestions, so many clues for the spiritually hungry who enjoy mystical rather than secular puzzles. After all it is a work about the mystery and indeed mysteries of self-knowledge. The greatest mystery of all!
    Take for instance, the phrase “the good, the beautiful, the true”. What is he referring to? How much might you learn about the divinity, the cosmos and humanity if you followed upon the trail signposted by that golden thread? What about, “…eye has neither seen nor ear heard nor entered into the …”? Anyone seeking a single resource that can serve as guide towards the path of self-realization whilst pointing out those byways of folly to avoid … would do well I think to study and attend to the beauties hidden in this work.
    An added bonus in this publication is Bob Gilbert’s updating and to a certain extent modernising in particular the references including rendering many of the original into English. This is a gift enhancing the readers delight. His knowledge of Waite is quite enlightening and brings the man alive to us in ways that few introductions can and all of this helps us to arrive at some level of connection with the mind of AE Waite as an insightful fellow pilgrim.
    The Way of Divine Union leads the Lover unto the Beloved hidden in the depths of soul.

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The Way of Divine Union by A. E. Waite (Ed. R.A. Gilbert)

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